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Category Archives: Personal

Bade Achche Lagte Hain – love scene!! Will the audience accept it!

Last week saw a revolution of sorts on television. They actually showed a love-making scene. The coy blushing couple who for years don’t have any inclination; in spite of being in the living together in the same room, will change forever, I think. And, I am no expert. I avoid these serials like the plague. First all, the complications in Indian television serials just boggle my poor mind! It gets addled with fear at these unknown species of the wicked mother-in-law, scheming relatives and their ilk.

The scene in the serials I normally watch with a Zee Cafe in between, either the guy is involved with someone else; a compromise marriage happens and the Indian hero stays faithful to the memory of his love. Slowly, very slowly it takes years and you would wonder how India takes the world tag of number one populator in the world leaving even China behind! Simple! the actual fact is quite different. Women have no say in the matter and the men need a sleeping bag!

So everything is matter of fact. That’s what you’d think. But, take a look at Indian TV and you’ll know it still is in the Stone Age as far as human emotions are. The m.i.l (mother in law) is on her own trip. Either she is too good or too bad and bad is as bad as bad gets. Torture the d.i.l (daughter in law) or vice versa sometimes and you have the whole country on tenterhooks 6 days a week. Imagine!

Each time a serial started on a light-hearted note I trill. This is for me. Slowly, but surely, the plot manages to take a nasty turn – and everything then goes for a toss. What’s wrong with a good laugh and some fun and laughter? Like the American serial F.R.I.E.N.D.S or Three and a half men with Charlie Sheen; the Indian serial Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai – the ultimate in sophisticated humour in India. Then it vanished with no new seasons. It seems it did not have a good run as the all-knowing TRP’s pronounced and that was that. What about just giving us some good entertainment and forget Trp’s. Greed is evil, I feel like telling producers. Why not watch and wait. You might be surprised.

Then came the Hindi serial Bade achche lagte hain – the title taken from a famous Hindi film song roughly translated as I Like these things a lot (it sounds odd in English – LOL)! It could be ‘these are a few of my favourite things’! And, here the protagonists are in their 40’s and 30+ and they are shyer than 18 year olds (duh!) But, there is some charm in their discovering love. It was kinda cute! There is the evil step mother but she is so cute you just don’t believe she has done all those evil things – but she has it seems (very wicked), you wouldn’t believe how very wicked. Anyways, finally the couple discover love and after a lot of dilly-dallying the path breaking, love-making scene is aired to Indian homes.

Frankly it would be a little awkward with family members awake at 10.45 pm (shh the baby ones), only because it was a long drawn scene. 30 minutes and acting like teens caught in the act. Cho chweet. NOO actually No! The next day there is no after play or stuff just denial from the guy. Gosh, he has this – ‘i must have been crazy to have done this evil thing’ kind of attitude.

Imagine any hot-blooded Punjabi (North Indian male) or any male for that matter behaving like that. Indian movies and serials make a big show about the Punjabi factor. What about the South Indians, East, West – well! They just don’t know PR. Punjabis have ‘Balle Balle’ and other phrases which today is common in most households especially the younger generation. All because of the dozens of Indian films are made by our very romance Director and Producer – Yash Chopra and he has sold the ‘Punjabi’ factor to Indians with panache.

Every Indian relates to these today! Huh! You’re wondering what’s happening. Well! 1.21 billion Indians and 28 states (i hope i got that right), and you have a range of cultural differences as you can count on the abacus! But let’s not digress for it is a topic that has so many layers!
But, I suppose it’s ok if you give credit that things are coming out of the closet – maybe it will teach people how to go about wooing your love. If you can start at 40 then there’s hope for Asians. This scene will now be measured with TRp’s and then they will add more till then other crazy goings on will go on and we will be sated with our lot! But, believe me if the couple behave like they have committed a sin then it’s off for me. I can sleep earlier – all the better for my tired mind!

All I want is light-hearted fun n frolic evening or late night-time pass as we are wont to say!. Are you listening, Ekta Kapoor (a woman business tycoon in films and serials actually in the other order) and all producers who dare not step into funny waters…Take a leap!!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Bollywood, Humour, Personal

 

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A tryst with feminism!

Feminism – today you just take it for granted, but suddenly I was curious what was it before feminism took shape. I can imagine the cudgels a woman received for burning the food (obviously food wasn’t easy to catch) or dragged by their hair (gosh why hair – can’t bear that I love my tresses)!

I believe that’s the time men actually believed they were the superior sex when I think right from Adam biting the apple offered by Eve it was pretty obvious who ruled the roost really! Then why this big deal about feminist or no feminist

I think it sort of happened when women strolled into men’s domain and were actually very good at their job! Ok I agree driving a car isn’t easy for me but most women do as good or bad a job as a man. By nature, a woman is more creative, even while driving. And, why go the same straight way every single day, how boring!

Not to digress from important matters. Feminism started with unequal wages and then later for cultural differences. Simone de Beauvoir was pro feminism and supported writers. Things are so much better, today. Don’t you think so – what if you’re paid half in some jobs at least you are paid unlike in some third world countries. The Oxford dictionary lists 1894 approx for the start of feminism. Relation between the sexes was an issue. You had to invent headaches to be left alone.

Mary Wollstonecraft, a celebrated author believed both genders contributed to inequality and needed to be sensitized to this but critics called her and her ilk ‘amazons of the pen’. Samuel Johnson had more problems with women writing – well! I wouldn’t be here writing, if someone had taken him up on that!

Jane  Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte… Thomas Hardy too, supported the viewpoint of equality. Florence Nightingale also believed that women had the ability but not the opportunities. More than rights to vote (suffrage), right to education, better working conditions, double sexual standards (well!!) Centuries later when you look at it, things have changed and how. The world as seen from the media is about famous women in the entertainment industry – all of them need a man around and after every break up they look for another guy to cry or lean on. One who treats them like dirt; all in search of the elusive perfect man? Perfect – how dumb can you get, maybe they are!

In Asian countries, too, it’s the same. am speaking of celebrities’ because they  seem to be in a position to change the equation but to my surprise they put their titles to shame; make lofty statements and then live a life that is hardly one. It’s their life so who am i to crib but for the fact that there are kids involved sometimes it just don’t make any sense. Kids are involved and are preview to this life. Wouldn’t they be better off without this kind of family time! In the orphanages or in strictly observed homes. God knows I cannot fathom it!

The incident that still manages to surprise me is a famous celebrity who had a love child with another celebrity and then lived as she pleased. Years later out of the blue she marries this man quite out of her league, but rich, definitely. I read somewhere that this celebrity stated that once you reach the big 4, suitors vanish just like that’. So if you were looking for them, why put on the sham of being a feminist or self-dependent!

I think feminism is just a word that applied when women were really fighting to get a chance just to vote or to be allowed to work and freedom of choice. And, actually, isn’t it still the same! But, my sympathies are with those men who have suffered at the hands of the rights given to women. Sometimes women do go a bit too far. Okay so what if he claims to have a headache. It must have been genuine. Girls do cut some slack…puhleeze!

PS: this post came out of a creative prompt given to me and it had to biased toward males. personally that was a challenge. The rest of the info is real and comments are true, my reactions to those incidents mentioned are  real.  The asides are meant to be in jest.

i am not a hard-core feminist. And with end part seeming bitter is just a figment of some people’s imagination. I  truly adore the species and i think it is vice versa give or take a few opines…Well, for those who have read do believe that i believe in eternal love and will till my last breath:)

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Humour, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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‘Proofing up with the Kardashians’

Proofreading is the most tedious jobs to do. Steve Jobs would agree…(well! I had to use his name, everyone is doing it…and I truly love him and his vision!)

After a few bungled efforts, I trashed a lot of my stuff, because they had errors that made me red with shame and so I have stayed off posting for quite a while… Now I have found a new way~!

I’m ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ – the American serial which I watch mon – thu 9pm -10 pm. What I like most is that like reality shows they give you sound ‘bytes’ (oh Steve I miss you so! )and the tone used is like soo amazing and so funny!

I have recreated a snippet with my own inputs, since I don’t remember the exact dialogues…

My take:

Khloe:
I do not know what Kourt is doing; why is she still with Scott; did u see the rage in him – he needs a Psycho. Actually, he’s a psycho; he needs help …!
Anyways I have to go look for the ring; can’t seem to find it and Lamar will kill me!!

Kourtney:
Khloe has no idea what this does to me –you know I feel like – – I am pulled from all sides …why is the family after Scott’s butt, he is trying to change – why can’t they be with us, instead of trying to separate us… it’s so annoying…

Mom:
Scott does not understand that Khloe has her shoots and he comes home so late that she has these dark circles or are they dark circles??

Kourtney
“Scott, we need to talk about …”

Scott:
Kourtney has this thing about not touching the wine in the fridge
It has been in the cellar for so long, are we going to like- drink it next year!!
…about picking up after me what’s the big deal…after I’m drunk, I can’t see whether it’s a bottle; or a bottle; anyways I want my son Mason to be raised in NY—

Kourtney
“Scott – I a m talking to Yoou”
Scott
“Yeah I know “

Kourtney
“No you don’t – I think we should move to NY, have another baby, Mason needs a brother or a sister!”

Anyways you get the drift – the ‘after comments’ is the style I use to proofread’ sometimes, to make it interesting and fun. I read it aloud using the ‘tone of voice’, of the ‘Kardashians ‘. I actually did a piece and it worked but for this one I think, I’ll read this aloud!!

I really can’t let others read what I write – I just can’t – it’s me and my readers – if they like its fine. But I don’t think it will come to that… this time.. . Right now, I have the ‘Kardashians’ to help me …

Do you have a proofing idea…to share with me?

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Humour, Personal, Writing

 

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Dive in!?!

Dive in!?!

Oct.3, 2011

I am at my sister’s place for lunch and the view from her place is – phew! From the ‘cozy corner’, I can see the pool and all I feel like is just – diving in! Tempting – but there are no ‘floats’ – I need tHeM!!

It has been quite a while, since I managed to learn the basics, after ‘drowning’ in ‘shallow’ water for a while!

A lot of hard work later and more hard work, I finally manage without floats. Floating on my back will be heaven…

I look longingly at the pool and wait for all signs of the rains to vanish. It’s hot but the rains keep playing spoil sport!

Hey, welcome October – am I going to make a splash…or wot!?!

 

The pics are of Vasant Lawns in India and one of the most beautiful i have seen…hope it stays this way:D

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in fun, Humour, Personal, Uncategorized

 

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Kingfisher blue so blue!

the common kingfisher
blue blue

When I shifted to my new residence, the lush greenery had me sold and early mornings were sitting at the window side and watching birds, butterflies flit about (my desk was placed here near the window sill)! It wasn’t soon before I discovered the parakeets, then a small green bird with red beak (not a parakeet)- this was exotica – my paradise! It was really thrilling to discover the yellow and black striped bird who I named ‘tiger’ bird for they had these stripes – my daughter too was extremely thrilled when I pointed out and she found it ‘terrific’!

Then, one day, I hear sounds of – how do I describe it ‘cackling laughter’. I run to the window – can’t see where the sound sprang from and this continued…

And, then just as I looked up from my comp (believe it was a 486 then….! ). I glanced at the well, it had a lot of fishes in it, they were thriving there, I spotted something blue…it was blue as blue can be(the other colours are complements to this blue). Omg I thought it was kingfisher blue and the bird was a KINGFISHER!(omg!)

Whoosh! I stared in wonder till it flew off and then each time I heard its sound, I hurried to catch a glimpse! The kingfisher sat patiently to catch a fish; suddenly it would swoop and with a nice juicy fish would fly off to where its nest was (fishbones!- I suppose!!) to feed its young – a tasty family dinner!

I had a good camera and decided I was going to capture this for posterity and with instructions to be careful as soon as I spotted it at the well, I knew it would have a wait to get one, so I took the lift, turned toward the well and as I reached the well… I stepped forward very, very slowly – it was still there but one more step and off it flew – all I got was a blurred image but I waited for another time and days flew by as I got a good exercise but no pic!

The kingfisher was uncanny with all its focus on its food; yet a human step and it would just swish off – a wonderful sight yet I had no proof… for nobody believed me – the only witness was my lil daughter and she too was excited then went back to her Barbie dolls, or was busy with play and school projects.

I did show those pics to the fam and they said but where’s the Kingfisher?? I pointed to the blue blur where I could discern the bird but they were ‘maani, you’re just dreaming…!’

Finally, I gave up trying to click it and by now I was used to having the kingfisher come regularly to its food place, and, it never failed to thrill me! Since my skills came to naught , i decided to search for the perfect KF image…

The common kingfisher and so uncommon to me!

So my tryst continues with pets and wild birds – they’re always a sight to behold!

Of course, now that we’ve shifted to a new place, there is a new story…that’s if you would be interested to listen:::::)

The image is attributed to Karunakar Raykar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kingfisher_India.jpg

 

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in fun, Humour, Personal, Pets and animals, Writing

 

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How I discovered my true calling!

How I discovered my true calling!

a slice of my libraryBefore I decided to become a copywriter I was interested in so many hobbies, far removed from writing except maybe for a home-grown greeting  for birthdays and letters to friends and pen pals …school stuff I hated – essays, any school stuff I found them scary …for some reason (the system has killed many a writer creative person in India). So I didn’t have a teacher tell me ‘someday you’ll become a writer’. Yes my French teacher did tell me, when I took my daughter to join her kindergarten

“aren’t you the girl who used to run very fast”. I was uh huh – come again! Wish someone had told me, earlier; just maybe I would worked harder on making it to the Olympics – for sure… ha ha. But seeing my extra lean frame none would,  I suppose! I lived to play and that meant a lot of aches and breathing difficulty and my mom being troubled for a hot press – a cloth in which roasted flax-seed was stuffed and placed on the chest for relieving congestion. Bronchitis was just one thing to be borne but it didn’t stop me once I was up and about and if it was ‘holi’( an Indian festival where dry colours were smeared and wet balloons, water thrown on each other (who talked of preserving the environment then)! And I wouldn’t go up to change even when my dress tore coz I was scared my second mom – my sis wouldn’t let me go back , no one else could stop me. Bless her; she knew it would mean another round of doctors and suffering for me and my mom!

Well that was going off tangent, quite a bit…if you would travel with me… Actually, all my school life I dreaded math and often dreamt of cycling fast to reach the hall, another one being not knowing the portion for the exam and hurriedly taking notes and stuff like  – these were stuff  my nightmares were made of!

Reading meant Enid Blyton’s and my all time favorites were Heidi, Pride and Prejudice; later it was M&B  where I digested the ‘forever’ theme till reality struck years later…Agatha Christie, Harold Robbins, pulp fiction without too much gore were my favourites; with a plateful of sandwiches – jammy ones and a blanket, if it was cold and two hours later it was another book or time for the playground – badminton, cycling and stuff .

We didn’t get Cosmo and other foreign magazines so I borrowed them from my library and all  their’‘how to’s’’ were by heart plus the ads fascinated me! After school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but getting a University degree was a must for Indian girls, though for me being a housewife and becoming a mom was high on my list after college! I chose Commerce for graduation for my sis, a topper was in it and my dad had a business … he wanted us girls too to join him. He was a very forward thinking man for the 80’s in India!

… the nightmares continued after college for some reason.. I tried giving a banking test, absolutely unbelievable to me even today but those were the regular things girls went for unless thy were planning to become doctors, or some hi-fi careers –  at least it seemed like that to me! While this was happening romance was blossoming and I wanted to marry and settle down while at the same time I was very passionately following a drawing and painting course. I did my own stuff copied calendars with some. ‘Radha  Krishna’ themes ; even repaired a tile which had a landscape for a friend but it was not to be even after I tried my absolute best! As a kid I would enter all the contest ‘ why do you like Cadbury Chocolates… or ‘Surf is the best detergent because..’ in 10 words! Not one of them did I miss – but all to see my name, the prize really didn’t impress me… it seems unbelievable today but kids, teens are like that, don’t you think!

After college, I saw an ad for a ‘copy workshop’ but somehow it didn’t happen. Meanwhile, when my daughter was born I became very interested in the  ‘learning through play’  method; quite new to India (Kindergarten though, had taken off quite well!). I gobbled all the knowledge or books; internet was not available to us , I decided that since I loved kids a lot … a course in ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ – it would be!  I was very enthusiastic and made all the teaching aids and joined the British library for books , since that was the first year the course was introduced no text books were available for the theory and understanding the nitty gritty’s of teaching kids. I wanted more and I researched and made notes and studied like never before! I topped the theory exams and to my utmost wonder I found that my answers were read out in class!

We interned in schools and children really loved the real examples while teaching math and fun ways we introduced new things with help of the teachers there. I found myself buying stuff, books, toys, clay, thick crayons, and all the stuff possible for my kid, too. I was fascinated by the method and my daughter turned to be like clay, she lapped it all (sometimes i wonder if ECCE(early childhood care and education) was to give her what we didn’t get as kids). Everybody in the family were happy, they were sure, I would teach or start my own school but fate intervened. I was sure that teaching was not for me ,  and wanted to study further and be part of the change do an ‘administration post grad’, but, since I wasn’t a science student(!) I didn’t get admission in the only college that had the course in Mumbai.

And suddenly one day, the newspaper came with the same  ad for the ‘copywriting workshop’ and this time it just swept me with the tide and I was determined to complete this workshop…once again I was on the roll; cut up ads (my daughter helped:)) scanned and photocopied books bought as many as I could, read as much on the subject. Caples, Bernbach, Ogilvy, books like  – Hey,Whipple Squeeze This, Pritkins Statement… were treasured by me and finally I found my childhood dreams vanished, those nightmares that haunted me had disappeared totally, … Three months later, a copywriting workshop certificate and some brand new ideas under my arm, I stepped into a local advertising agency INS accredited and imagine my luck, the copywriter was leaving after marriage and they were looking for an instant replacement. And, that’s when I got my first ever job.

The journey wasn’t smooth sailing…but, I knew I was at the right place and my time would come. I faced problems but I triumphed when my first campaign went national for JK Helene Curtis ! My first headline ‘boon or bane’ for a pharma client got me a shoot of laughter from the crew, but the client lapped it and that was all that mattered to me! I suppose I wasn’t typically ambitious to work in a big agency for it would mean up down two hours leaving my daughter in a crèche so I decided to freelance …we managed well between the two of us. She enjoyed the creative stuff and as she grew up, she enjoyed listening to my shop talk! Today, she’s studying advertising –that, after taking up science –wanting to be an astronomer! Later she switched to mass media, inspite of everyone wanting her to continue. Surprisingly, even I thought that she could get into copywriting after graduation in science for by then I found that a fallback was good with payments becoming low after the 1990’s real estate crash’ but you couldn’t force her…like mother…huh!!

15 years later, I haven’t won a Cannes or any copywriting award – just two prizes – one for a greeting contest and a tv channel “i like home tv because…” in you guessed it -10 words! I got to see my name as the first prize and fifth prize winner…and I actually loved the tv and music system I got – giving it away was a sad moment! Actually, if you’re a copywriter you also want this but I had made my choice by working for small agencies, but, these were the happiest years of my life and I cherish every moment of it. The only mistake was not joining a big agency then because you were paid for freelancing based on that stamp of a Big agency; my friends who joined Big agencies went on to make pots of money…but money, then, wasn’t my core need. It was satisfaction and that I got in plenty. I don’t have regrets; except for not meeting ‘big idea’ people and growing exponentially…hmmm! So who said the journey to discover your true love was easy or that it ever ends!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bkoger/4791448741/sizes/s/in/photostream/

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Careers, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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Signature campaign – care to sign?!?

Thumb Impressions seems the perfect remedy to all forgery or cheating problems. It’s one of those things that have lasted centuries and nothing modern has been able to wipe out its sheer simplicity, genius and ease. Signatures, I suppose followed literacy. Kings used it with a flourish to issue an execution order or to go to war or some silly stuff kings used to do. Later judges broke a nib over a judgment. People spent hours over creating their own signatures that none could forge and reflected the personality they wanted to express. There are people who make a living on reading people’s signatures and guessing personality quirks.

Every child reaches a stage when they start developing their signatures and creating one that stands apart and many a page is crumpled to get that perfect signature drafted before making it final.

Unfortunately, forgers slog harder to copy and major frauds and forgeries are committed even of the most complex signatures. Then there is the danger of election rigging where your identity and ideology are in danger with mass rigging and the whole nation’s future depends on being forge proof. And, that’s where I’d say – thumbs down!

I’m all for the good old thumb impression. It’s the perfect solution to all verification and proofs. After all, signatures are easily forged, faces changed with surgery. And, it’s said everybody has more than one double in the world. So, for authenticity’s sake fingerprints seem to be the best bet.

Actually, I do have a vested interest in going all thumbs, though I am a little embarrassed to say this. My signature is so ordinary, without style that I blush every time someone says, not your initials please! And, to top that my oh so simple signature even fluctuates ever so slightly. My bank’s used to this, recognises my (ir)regular sign, and clears my cheques.

The reason I haven’t tried to acquire a stylized signature is I’d probably forget it and that would land me into even more trouble. I’m always amazed at people who sign with such a flourish and with such expressions of their name it almost seems like a work of art. It fascinates me how it’s the same every time. As for me I’m usually in such a hurry and so harried that I feel safer with my ordinary, mousy signature. Plus, with frauds and forgeries and scams all around I’m convinced it’s best for all concerned that we take to the thumbprint way. See the benefits:

No two fingerprints are the same-I’m sure God in all his infinite wisdom and foresight knew human weakness and with the best technology available only to him ensured that all fingerprints are not alike. Until some evil force breaks this code, we are safe!

Then there is the election rigging. This could be easily solved. Indelible ink used for thumb impressions against the party candidate would end rigging forever. Then you can stop gangsters from having two passports. Computers can verify this with their data bank of all fingerprints.

Of course, thumbprints do have that uneducated touch! A little retro could do us some over-technologified people some good. It’s like getting to the grassroots.

I am all set for this anti-signature campaign. Care to sign?

P.S. President Obama’s writing sample in the paper made me so sentimental, I’ve now decided to try my hand at improving my signature and win the campaign!

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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in fun, Humour, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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